The Dukes of Hazzard

Season 1 Episode 6

Swamp Molly

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 09, 1979 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Uncle Jesse is faced with a decision of helping an old friend or going up against Boss Hogg.

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  • An old moonshining acquaintance of Uncle Jesse's comes visiting, and calls in an old favour by convincing him to have Bo and Luke deliver a truck full of 'shine. Problem is, the truck turns out to actually be full of illegal weapons! A mixed episode...moreless

    This review contains mild spoilers.

    I've always had mixed feelings about "Swamp Molly". It is by no means amongst the weakest episodes of the show's run, not by a long shot; but at the same time, it had never been a particular favourite of mine.

    This is the first episode broadcast-wise from when the show moved from Covington, Georgia, where the first five episodes were filmed, to the Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood (although the next episode, "Luke's Love Story", was actually the first to be filmed after the move). This abrupt change, and the loss of the genuine rustic, rural settings (and more serious stories) of those very early episodes is one reason I never liked "Swamp Molly" so much; it just seems such a comedown.

    With the move, things move much more into the standard template for the series. As well as the change of sets (including the Duke farm and Cooter's garage), Rosco is far more buffoonish than his far more serious earlier self (here decked out in full military gear, complete with radio codes which Enos keeps mixing up!), with his goofy laugh quickly developing, his "Good news! Good news!" chant, and even calling Enos "Dipstick" for the first time (replacing "Jackass" from the first few episodes).

    Boss Hogg too is more cartoony and comical (here he is trying to learn disco dancing to keep wife Lulu happy); and the Police pursuits are more prominent (Enos's car turns over for the first of many times in this story). Heck, Uncle Jesse even wears his trademark red cap for the first time in this episode!

    Anyway, production changes aside, I suppose the plot of this one is reasonable. It's never really stood out to me as one of my particular favourites of the series, but in complete fairness, I suppose it is more varied than the much more formulaic, generic plots that would sadly take over in later seasons (don't get me wrong, episodes were still fun, but many of the plots were extremely similar).

    Any episode that opens with the accidental blowing up of an out-house (a memorable shot used on all Bo and Luke episodes from the next season until the end of the show), and concludes with a truck full of illegal weapons sinking in a lake (which I was a little annoyed at being spoiled on the opening teaser), you know is gonna have some variety at least!

    As with the rest of the first season, the production values are a bit sharper than some of the later episodes – the main point of note being that, at this point, they thankfully weren't using terrible back screen projection, as would be the case with nearly all close-up vehicle shots in later stories, something that always looked horrible and unrealistic.

    Swamp Molly herself is an interesting character, who has for years been calling in some unexplained debt from Uncle Jesse. Cousin Alice is also fun, played by ever-reliable character actor Mary Jo Catlett (who I associate with the third housekeeper, Pearl, in 'Diff'rent Strokes'; a character that, incidentally, replaced the previous housekeeper played by Nedra Volz, who would go on to play the recurring Miz Tizdale in 'Dukes').

    Molly and Alice are intriguing guest characters, and I'm a little surprised that Molly (or Alice) never turned up again in the series; I could maybe see her appearing once-per-season (a la Hughie Hogg), to trick the Dukes into her latest scheme. Alas (not Alice!), it was not to be.

    I really can't make up my mind about this story. As I say, it is certainly more interesting than the many more generic stories from later on, but at the same time, it just doesn't rank as one of my particular favourites, and the abrupt move from Georgia does stick out a bit. I kinda had this episode down as an 8; watching it on DVD tonight to review, it did have enough nice scenes and lines to keep me amused, and based on that, I give it a reasonable 8.5 out of 10.moreless
  • Kinda good and kinda bad.

    In Swamp Molly, an old friend of Uncle Jesse comes to the Duke Farm for a vist. Her name is Molly, known better as Swamp Molly due to her living in the swamps. Molly needs Bo and Luke to drive a truck. Uncle Jesse calls the boys over and they take the truck. However, the truck is full of weapons and Bo and Luke are not allowed to have any weapons. When Sheriff Rosco Coltraine stops them to see what is in the truck, Bo and Luke do not know of the weapons. Rosco filps when he sees what is in the back. Bo and Luke get back in the truck and drive off as fast as they can to get away. They need to get rid of all the weapons so that Rosco can not put them in jail. They run the truck into a pond so it will sink but it does not sink as fast as they want it to. With Rosco coming up on them, Bo and Luke blow the truck up. Uncle Jesse is very mad at Molly after he found out what was in the truck and tells Molly not to come back ever again.moreless
Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle

Uncle Jesse Duke

John Schneider

John Schneider

Bo Duke

Tom Wopat

Tom Wopat

Luke Duke

Catherine Bach

Catherine Bach

Daisy Duke

James Best

James Best

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltraine

Sorrell Booke

Sorrell Booke

Jefferson Davis (J.D.)Hogg

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • During one piece of narration, the Balladeer goofs. He says "...After all, Molly did intend to have [Uncle Jesse] back by four. And her intentions were good". He should have said Alice, not Molly, and it relates to the scene with Alice and Jesse on the swamp boat.

    • This is the only episode where Bo and Luke mentioned to Uncle Jesse that the Dukes had indoor plumbing when the Duke Farm had an outhouse.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (8)

    • In a real rarity, the in-episode credits for this episode are in white, not the standard yellow. The only other episode where this is the case is the next broadcast one, "Luke's Love Story".

    • On the DVD version of this episode, the Warner Brothers logo used at the end of the closing credits has been changed; the "badge" logo is used in place of the original "three strokes" one used on other episodes of the season.

    • This is the first episode where both Bo and Luke are both heard to cry "Yee-Haa" at the end of the opening credits (previously, it had just been Bo). However, to note is that it is actually John Schneider's recording of "Yee-Haa" used twice – Tom Wopat hadn't quite mastered it at this point.

    • Unusually, the opening teaser for this episode contains no narration (from Waylon Jennings or a similar sounding voiceover). This is the only episode in the entire series not to have narration on the teaser.

    • Bo and Luke blew up an outhouse at the Duke Farm. This is the only episode where we see an outhouse at the Duke Farm and it is in the opening credits in seasons 2-7.

    • Boss Hogg's character becomes noticably more buffoonish in this episode and for the first time he and Rosco have scenes together throughout the course of the episode.

    • Rosco calls Enos a "dipstick" for the first of many times in this episode.

    • With this episode, the series moved from being filmed in Georgia to on the Warner Brothers lot in California. The set for Hazzard Square can be seen, almost unchanged, in a number of other films and television series.
      With the move, the series and the characters also began to find their feet for what they would evolve into. Rosco inparticular is noticably changing into the recognizable buffoon he would soon become, here being seen decked out in full Military camoflage as he stakes out the Dukes.


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